Nurses' views on dignity in care

Baillie, Lesley, Ford, Pauline, Gallagher, Ann and Wainwright, Paul (2009) Nurses' views on dignity in care. Nursing older people, 21(8), pp. 22-29. ISSN (print) 1472-0795


AIM: The aim of the RCN dignity survey was to gain the perspectives of nurses, healthcare assistants and nursing students regarding the maintenance and promotion of dignity in everyday practice. This article presents survey respondents' experiences of providing dignified care for older people. METHOD: A survey questionnaire was developed including fixed response and free text questions. A survey link was emailed to RCN members. Of the 2,048 respondents, 1,110 (54 per cent) worked with older people. These responses were analysed using an Excel spreadsheet for the quantitative data and the free text data were analysed thematically. RESULTS: The respondents perceived that the physical environment and organisation influenced the provision of dignified care. Respondents described how they endeavoured to promote dignity during care activities which might threaten dignity through thoughtful planning, sensitive communication, preserving privacy and promoting choice. CONCLUSION: A conducive physical care environment, a supportive organisation and individual nurses' actions can do much to promote the dignity of older people while they are undergoing health care.

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